André Chiang’s rigorous French training (under the likes of Pierre Gagnaire) may form the stock of his haute cuisine at sought-after Restaurant André, but for his home holiday dishes, he stirs in a dash of tradition from his native Taiwan. Starting at pork ears and ending in French gingerbread, his festive menu is nothing if not eclectic, with a flavour profile unlike your average holiday spread.

Chiang is a champion of eyeballing it, never cooking from recipes – not even in his restaurant kitchen – so the following recipe outlines are best tried only by the experienced home chef. The less self-assured might wait to try out signature Chiang cuisine, just until the release of his very first cookbook Octaphilosophy in April.

Pork Ear Salad

Pork ear salad is my mother’s recipe: Braised pork ears, smoked in tea and sugar, sliced thinly once they’ve cooled; Toss with juliennes of coriander, scallion, leek and celery, as well as chili oil, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Hot Pot

Combine chicken stock with 10% of soymilk and big pork bone as a base of the hot pot, subsequently add in anything you like while at the table (for example: beef, pork, fish, shrimp, squid balls, vegetables, mushrooms or dumplings).

Crème Caramel aux Pain d’Épices

Break a gingerbread loaf into fine pieces, soak them in milk overnight, add in cream, sugar vanilla seeds and eggs. Prepare burnt caramel in the bottom of a pot, bake in the oven over water bath till set, flip over a flat plate.

About André Chiang

Born in Taiwan and trained in French nouvelle cuisine, André Chiang has lived in Singapore for 10 years, spending the last 5 as chef-owner of Restaurant André – currently number 5 of the top 50 restaurants in Asia. Chiang is known for his unique “octaphilosophy” that seeks a balance between what he has identified as 8 key elements – pure, salt, artisan, south, texture, unique, memory and terroir – each of which is represented as a dish in his 8-course dinner menu, usually created spontaneously each evening from that day’s market haul. Chiang owns two other restaurants, the more laidback RAW in Taipei and Porte 12 in Paris, and is the author of Octaphilosophy, an upcoming cookbook that will, for the first time ever, provide a glimpse into the inspiration and ideas that fuel Chiang’s kitchen.

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